Environmental Health Trust

Open Letter from Experts Urges Officials to Support the Wireless Information Act in Maine


Teton Village, WY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/05/2014 --Renowned medical and public health experts released an open letter to Maine officials highlighting key scientific evidence for legislators to reconsider a stance on a senate bill calling for a label on cell phones to be plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging alerting customers to the safety notifications.

Introduced by Rep. Andrea Boland (D-ME), this bill provides that a retailer may not sell at retail in this state a cellular telephone unless the cellular telephone and its packaging bear a warning label relating to the potential health effects associated with nonthermal effects of cellular telephone radiation. It requires the manufacturer of the cellular telephone to provide the warning labels to the retailer at no cost to the retailer. The bill also requires that any safety notification supplied by a cellular telephone manufacturer must have the language of the safety notification plainly visible on the outside of the product package or, if using a label, the label must be plainly visible on the outside of the package. This bill also requires the retailer to provide an information bulletin to the purchaser of a cellular telephone informing the purchaser of potential health risks associated with the use of cellular telephones. A violation of this provision is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The letter in its entirety:

The Honorable Representative Andrea Boland
House Democratic Office
2 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Dear Representative Boland,

We commend you and the State legislators of Maine for ongoing work towards passing LD1013. Recent scientific research conducted affirms the wisdom of this legislation. Therefore, in the interest of the citizens of Maine please allow this bill to be heard and hopefully passed. We are not only concerned about brain tumors, but also as phones are currently carried today (in pockets while on) we are concerned about damage to fetuses, female reproductive organs and damage to sperm.

Please consider recently published scientific information:

January, 2014: New International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) document on the Electromagnetic Spectrum released: detailed 1-page visual with reference to cell phone exposure as a possible human carcinogen acknowledged by the National Cancer Institute. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Publications/Review2014-Radiation-Fatiha.pdf

April, 2013: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization issued its Monograph that addresses whether cellular telephone RF EMF radiation presents a risk of cancer to users. The IARC re-affirmed its official classification that cellular radiation is a Group 2B carcinogen along with lead, automobile exhaust, and other toxic substances including DDT, heptachlor, and styrene and they have now released their 480 page Monograph that provides the details of the basis of the classification in this the most significant health report on mobile phone radiation ever published. The Monograph concludes that:

“Due to closer proximity of the phone to the brain of children compared with adults, the average exposure from use of the same mobile phone is higher by a factor of 2 in a child’s brain and higher by a factor of 10 in the bone marrow of the skull (p. 408),

“Positive associations have been observed between exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma. (p. 421),

“Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B)

Other recent sources:

1. A new study by breast cancer surgeons found a link to unusual breast tumors in young women who keep cell phones in their bras and have no genetic markers for the disease; http://www.hindawi.com/crim/medicine/2013/354682/

2. A December, 2011 study from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California found statistically significant annual increases in frontal and temporal lobe grade IV brain cancers (glioblastoma multiforme) from 1992 to 2006. Those are the areas of the brain closest to where the cell phone is typically held. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878875011006863

3. In October, 2013 the Italian Supreme Court ruled in favor of a worker who developed a tumor in the head due to long-term use of mobile phones on the job. Importantly, the ruling underscored discrepancies between the low evidence of risk found by industry-funded studies and the higher evidence of risk found by independent studies. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/19/us-italy-phones-idUSBRE89I0V320121019

4. Environmental and Human Health Inc. “Cell Phones: Technology, Exposures, Health Effects”http://www.ehhi.org/reports/cellphones/

5. On July 12, 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the FCC to open a formal inquiry into radiation standards for cell phones and other wireless products adding “The FCC has not assessed the standards for cell phone radiation since 1996 and that “children are… disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation”.http://wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/american_academy_of_pediatrics_letter_asking_for_government_review_of_levels.pdf

The state of Maine faces potential major liability costs for employees that may be diagnosed with a brain tumor who use cell phones as part of their work. Also, with the pending epidemic of brain cancers and other diseases attributed to wireless radiation, this will have an impact on public health care costs in Maine. It is estimated that a single case of initial treatment of one brain tumor averages $500,000.

It is also relevant to note that on February 26, 2013 Verizon Communications Inc. reported the following liability risk in its Annual Report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,

“…our wireless business also faces personal injury and consumer class action lawsuits relating to the alleged health effects of wireless phones or radio frequency transmitters, and class action lawsuits that challenge marketing practices and disclosures relating to alleged adverse health effects of handheld wireless phones. We may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. In addition we may be required to pay significant awards or settlements.”

In the light of the evidence above we impress upon you to allow SB2571 to be heard toward the goal of informing consumers as to safer use of this ubiquitous device. People deserve the right to know about safety information currently embedded within the phones or printed in small type in pamphlets few read. We do not advocate against this valuable technology. We want users to be informed at point of sale how to use the device as intelligently and safely as possible. We applaud your efforts to ensure consumer protection by promoting this basic right.

Very truly yours,

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine, American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor in Tobacco Control and Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder and President of Environmental Health Trust. Presidential Appointee.

David O. Carpenter, MD, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany

Morando Soffritti, MD, Professor and Scientific Director Ramazzini Institute, Bologna, Italy and General Secretary Collegium Ramazzii, Bologna, Italy

Anthony B. Miller, MD; former dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto; Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology, and IARC expert advisor

Annie Sasco, MD, MOH, ScM, DrPh, Director of Research Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention Inserm (French NIH) , Bordeaux University France, former IARC Unit Chief, and former Acting Chief, WHO program for Cancer Control

Dariusz Leszcynski, PhD, IARC expert advisor

Elihu Richter, MD, Hadassah Medical Center, School of Public Health, Israel

Yael Stein, MD, Hadassah Medical Center, School of Public Health, Israel

Prof. Nesrin Seyhan , Medical faculty of Gazi University, Founding Chair, Biophysics Dept., Founding Director, GNRK Center, Panel Member, NATO STO HFM, Scientific Secretariat Member, ICEMS,Advisory Committee, WHO EMF.

Prof. Dr. Suleyman Kaplan, Editor of Journal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine,President of Turkish Society for stereology,Board member of Journal Chemical Neuroanatomy (Elsevier),Director of Health Sciences Institute

Ondokuz May?s University,Head of Department of Histology and Embryology Ondokuz May?s University, Turkey

Dr. Igor Beliaev, Cancer Research Institute at Slovak Academy of Science, Slovak Republic

Nancy Alderman, President, Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Ellen Marks, Director, California Brain Tumor Association

Cynthia Franklin, Director, Consumers for Safe Cell Phones

About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. A lead author of the Intergovernmental panel on climate change awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, EHT President and Founder, Dr. Devra Davis has authored a number of popular books, including National Book Award Finalist, When Smoke Ran Like Water, a National Book Award Finalist, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and Disconnect—the truth about cell phone radiation, which was awarded the Nautilus silver medal award for investigative reporting. The foundation’s website is the go-to place for clear, science-based information to prevent environmentally based disease and promote health, and will have portals for the general public, children and health professionals. For more information or to get involved in the numerous special projects spearheaded by EHT, please visit http://www.ehtrust.org and find EHT on Facebook.